Synagogue Fires: Wasserman Schultz Asks FBI Director To Investigate As Hate Crimes
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, today asked FBI Director Mueller to investigate the fires that damaged two Miami Beach synagogues in the past six months as hate crimes. FBI Director Mueller stated that the FBI would investigate the circumstances surrounding the two synagogue fires in Miami Beach.
The FBI has jurisdiction over hate crimes motivated by intolerance of a person's race, religion, or national origin. Rep. Wasserman Schultz asked for the fires to be investigated as hate crimes because the circumstances surrounding the Chabad Shul fire, the fact that it took place during Passover, and the fact that there have now been two fires at Miami Beach synagogues in the past six months.
"Some of the evidence at the Chabad Shul fire, the fact that we are in the middle of Passover, and the fact that we've had two fires at synagogues in Miami Beach within the past six months makes these fires suspicious," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "We need to send a strong message that hate and violence of any kind will not be tolerated, we must investigate these fires as hate crimes."
FBI Director Mueller was testifying before the House Judiciary Committee today at a committee hearing scheduled prior to last night's fire. Chabad Shul is located just outside of Rep. Wasserman Schultz's Congressional District, though many of the congregants live within the 20th Congressional District.